Types of COVID-19 tests
PM Pediatrics is offering two (2) kinds of tests for COVID-19 for children and adults. While no test is 100% accurate, we are using national reputable laboratories who perform internal validation to ensure reliable testing practices.
If you or your child has difficulty breathing, please proceed to the nearest Emergency Department immediately. If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911.
PCR (nasal swab) test
The PCR (nasal swab) test will tell you if you currently have COVID-19. A swab is inserted deep into the nostril to collect a sample from the area at the back of the nose where it meets the throat. A person with symptoms of COVID-19 is a candidate for this test. The results come back in about two (2) days and are either positive or negative. There is up to a 30% chance that the test may be falsely negative. Therefore, a negative test does not eliminate the possibility that you currently have the infection or that you had the infection in the past.
Serum antibody (blood) test
We are also offering the IgG antibody test. An antibody is a marker in the blood that indicates the body’s immune reaction to an infection. This test requires a blood sample drawn from a vein. It will determine if your body has already built up antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19.
If you believe you may have had COVID-19 and no longer have symptoms or believe you have had exposure without any symptoms, then you are a candidate for the antibody test. On rare occasions, the antibody test may be falsely negative, but that most often occurs if your infection occurred less than 21 days before your blood was drawn. If you currently have symptoms and feel ill, you should not get an antibody test and would be better served by a PCR test (nasal swab).
We are learning more about this virus every day, and while the medical community is hopeful that these antibodies will help protect against future infection, we don’t yet know if it gives immunity or how long immunity would last. You should continue to follow the recommendations from your state/place of work in regard to social distancing, masking, and good hand washing.
Understanding test results
POSITIVE: If your test comes back positive, you were likely infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. There may be a small number of people that have a false positive result. In addition, because this is a brand new virus, it is unknown whether a positive antibody result means that you are protected from getting infected again. It is also unknown how long your antibodies will last. Even if your test is positive, there is no guarantee that you are “immune.“
NEGATIVE: If your test comes back negative, you were likely not infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 or have not yet developed longer lasting antibodies. On rare occasions, the test may be falsely negative but that most often occurs if your infection occurred less than 21 days before your blood was drawn. You may wish to repeat the test in the future.
EQUIVOCAL: If your test comes back equivocal, you may or may not have been infected with COVID-19. Your development of antibodies cannot be determined. Speak with your primary care physician about possibly repeating this test in the future.
How to schedule a COVID-19 test
If you think you qualify for COVID-19 testing, schedule a telemedicine visit on PM Pediatrics Anywhere to be screened. If a PM Pediatrics provider determines you to be eligible, you will receive information within 3 days about scheduling time for testing at one of our offices.
Insurance coverage of the COVID-19 test
Any costs associated with processing the lab test are determined by the laboratory. Most insurance carriers are covering the cost of COVID-19 nasal swab testing. We will not be collecting co-pay fees for the test. Your pre-screening visit will be processed through your insurance and they will determine your patient responsibility. Please click here for more information on PM Pediatrics Anywhere and payments.